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a legacy; and being extremely fond of the infant, she stole him on shipboard unknown to his mother and uncle, and carried him with her to Whitehaven, where he continued for almost three years. For, when the matter was discovered, his mother sent orders by all means not to hazard a second voyage, till he could be better able to bear it. The nurse was so careful of hin, that before he returned he had learnt to spell; and by the time that he was five years old, he could read any chapter in the Bible.
After his return to Ireland, he was sent at six years old to the school of Kilkenny, from whence at fourteen he was admitted into the university at Dublin; where by the ill treatment of his nearest relations, he was so discouraged and sunk in his spirits, that he too much neglected some parts of his academick studies : for which he had no great relish by nature, and turned himself to reading history and poetry; so that when the time came for taking his degree of bachelor, although he had lived with great regularity and due observance of the statutes, he was stopped of his degree for dulness and insufficiency; and at last hardly adınitted in a manner, little to his credit, which is called in that college, speciali gratia. And this discreditable mark, as I am told, stands upon record in their college registery
The troubles then breaking out, he went to bis mother, who lived in Leicester; and after continuing there some months, he was received by sir William Temple, whose father had been a great friend to the family, and who was now retired to his house called Moor Park, near Farnham in Surry, where he continued for about two years: for he happened before twenty years old, by a surfeit of fruit, to contract a giddiness and coldness of stomach, that almost brought him to his grave; and this disorder pursued him with intermissions of two or three years to the end of his life. Upon this occasion he returned to Ireland, by advice of physicians, who weakly imagined that his native air might be of some use to recover his health : but growing worse, he soon went back to sir William Temple; with whom growing into some confidence, he was often trusted with matters of
great importance. King William had a high esteem for sir William Temple by a long acquaintance, while that gentleman was ambassador and mediator of a general peace at Nimeguen. The king soon after his expedition to England, visited his old friend often at Sheen, and took his advice in affairs of greatest consequence.
But sir William Temple, treary of living so near London, and resolving to retire to a more private scene, bought an estate near Farnham in Surry, of about 1001. a year, where Mr. Swift accompanied him.
About that time a bill was brought into the house of commons for triennial parliaments; against which, the king, who was a stranger to our constitution, was very averse, by the advice of some weak people, who persuaded the earl of Portland, that king Charles the First lost his crown and life by consenting to pass such a bill. The earl, who was a weak man, came down to Moor Park, by his majesty's orders, to have sir William Temple's advice, who said much to show him the mistake.
But he continued still to advise the king against passing the bill. Whereupon Mr. Swift was sent to Kensington with the whole account of that matter in writing, to convince the king and the earl how ill they were informed. He told the earl, to whom he was referred by his majesty (and gave it in writing) that the ruin of king Charles the First was not owing to his passing the triennial bill, which did not hinder him from dissolving any parliament, but to the passing another bill, which put it out of his power to dissolve the parliament then in being, without the consent of the house. Mr. Swift, who was well versed in English history, although he was then under twenty-one years old, gave the king a short account of the matter, but a more large one to the earl of Portland; but all in vain ; for the king, by ill advisers, was prevailed upon to refuse passing the bill. This was the first time that Mr. Swift had any converse with courts, and he told his friends it was the first incident that helped to cure him of vanity. The consequence of this wrong step in his majesty was very unhappy; for it put that prince under a necessity of introducing those people called whigs into power and employments, in order to pacify them. For, although it be held a part of the king's prerogative to refuse passing a bill, yet the learned in the law think otherwise, from that expression used at the coronation, wherein the prince obliges himself to consent to all laws, quas vulgus elegerit.
Mr. Swift lived with him (sir William Temple) some time, but resolving to settle himself in some way of living, was inclined to take orders. However, although his fortune was very small, he had a scruVol.I. NN
ple of entering into the church merely for support, and sir William Temple then being master of the rolls in Ireland, offered him an employ of about 1201. a year in that office; whereupon Mr. Swift told him, that since he had now an opportunity of living without being driven into the church for a maintenance, he was resolved to go to Ireland and take holy orders. He was recommended to the lord Capel, then lord deputy; who gave him a prebend in the north, worth about. 1ool. a year, of which growing weary in a few months, he returned to England, resigned his living in favour of a friend, and continued in sir William Temple's house till the death of that great man, who beside a legacy, left him the care and trust and advantage of publishing his posthumous writings.
Upon this event Mr. Swift removed to London, and applied by petition to king William, upon the claim of a promise his majesty had made to sir William Temple, that he would give Mr. Swift a prebend of Canterbury or Westminster. The earl of Rumney, who professed much friendship for him, promised to second his petition ; but as he was an old, vicious, illiterate rake, without any sense of truth or honour, said not a word to the king. And Mr. Swift, after long attendance in vain, thought it better to comply with an invitation given him by the earl of Berkeley to attend him to Ireland, as his chaplain and private secretary; his lordship having been appointed one of the lords justices of that kingdom. He attended his lordship, who landed near Waterford, and Mr. Swift acted as secretary during the whole journey to Dublin. But another person had so insinuated himself into the
earl's favour, by telling him that the post of secretary was not proper for a clergyman, nor would be of
any advantage to one, who only aimed at church preferments; that his lordship, after a poor apology, gave that office to the other.
In some months the deanery of Derry fell vacant, and it was the earl of Berkeley's turn to dispose of it. Yet things were so ordered, that the secretary having received a bribe, the deanery was disposed of to another, and Mr. Swift was put off with some other church livings not worth above a third part of that rich deanery; and at this present not a sixth. The excuse pretended was his being too young, although he were then thirty years old.
Dr. SWIFT'S WILL.
n the name of GOD, Amen. I JONATHAN Swift, doctor in divinity, and dean of the cathedral church of St. Patrick, Dublin, being at this present of sound mind, although weak in body, do here make my last will and testament, hereby revoking all my former wills.
Imprimis. I bequeath my soul to God, (in humble hopes of his mercy through Jesus Christ) and my body to the earth. And I desire that my body may be buried in the great aisle of the said cathedral, on the south side, under the pillar next to the monument of primate Narcissus Marsh, three days after my decease, as privately as possible, and at twelve o'clock at night : and, that a black marble of
feet square, and seven feet from the NN 2